“Why Did the Turkeys Cross the Road?”


Driving home from the gym this morning I was startled by a line of four turkeys crossing the road in front of me. I stopped to see where they were going, and managed to get this shot of two of them foraging in the grass by a neighbor’s driveway. I had never seen a group this near our house, though I have spotted an occasional lone bird.

Seeing them I was reminded that they are really pretty ugly, and I understood why the eagle and not the turkey was chosen as the nation’s bird. The much spread rumor that Benjamin Franklin promoted the turkey turns out to be one of many urban legends, one I believed until a quick search this afternoon proved it not true.

When I lived in the country in the 1970’s our houseboat was near a turkey farm. Here hundreds of the more familiar domesticated heavy breasted white turkeys roamed around huge fields making lots of noise. New England provided my first sight of the wild turkey  ( not to be confused with bourbon with the same name!) They are definitely not top heavy, not are they white. Neither do they resemble the commonly depicted colorful one of children’s Thanksgiving handprint pictures. turkey But they are native, apparently edible, and not eating my lone sunflower. So I enjoyed seeing them.

I still don’t know why they crossed the road.


19 thoughts on ““Why Did the Turkeys Cross the Road?”

  1. For a few years we lived rural Michigan and would have huge flocks of wild turkeys on the order of 100+ birds at a time cross our fields. Walking together like that, particularly at dusk or when the weather was a bit hazy or foggy, it was like seeing some prehistoric herd of dinosaurs walk out of some fold in the time-space continuum and visit for a while.


  2. Reading your post brought up a memory that is more than 50 years old. When I was in kindergarten or first grade our class went on a field trip to a turkey farm. The day was damp and overcast, the ground muddy, and, to me, the turkeys were noisy and ugly. I was mystified as to why our teacher thought this trip would be fun!


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